Note to Hef: Playboy Should Publish Faked Anti-Rape Guide

Dolly does PlayboyThe big news about Playboy isn't that Kate Moss is confirmed as its 60th anniversary full-frontal cover model (been there, seen those), but that their annual college party school guide was devoted to promoting consensual sex. Just kidding.

On Tuesday, a group of college students backed by the anti-rape advocacy group FORCE commandeered the URL partywithplayboy.com and turned it into a site that looks astoundingly like Playboy.com. The page's lead story? Playboy's Top Ten Party Commandments. Some of their sound advice included:

  • Rape is only a good time for a rapists.
  • Use your mouth. Consent is verbal.
  • [Do] Not take advantage of a sloshed person. Drunk is not consent.

Even the old swinger himself chimed in. In a faux interview, Hugh Hefner said, "The anti-rape and consent movement bubbling up in America is important and I support it. It's good for women. It's good for men. It's good for sex."

Feminists rejoiced and the guide and interview immediately went viral, lighting up the Twitterverse. Even journalists were duped. On Tuesday afternoon, Nation writer Jessica Valenti tweeted: "I am thrilled to see Yes Means Yes as a message in Playboy's 'party school guide.' Progress!"

On Wednesday, a Playboy representative told the Huffington Post, "it definitely wasn't us behind it." FORCE subsequently acknowledged its part in the stunt, writing in a release, "While FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture was in on the prank, the consent campaign was mostly carried out by a national conspiracy of college students. Students from over 25 schools across the country banded together to create the historic hoax. Consent enthusiasts hosted consent-themed tailgating parties, played games of 'Ask First' beer pong, and excitedly pushed the prank on facebook and twitter, which is how it exploded all over the internet on Tuesday."

Does the success of the hoax indicate how desperate people from Ohio to India are for shift away from rape culture? "All day I've been overhearing people talk to each other about the article thinking that it was real. What I heard was really surprising. I thought that people would be dubious at best. But not only did they totally buy it, they loved it, saying it was refreshing, real, and 'about time,'" wrote Sophie Hess, one of the student activists involved in the ploy. Nobody wants another Steubenville.

Given that traditional girlie mags are tanking — on Tuesday the publisher of Penthouse filed for bankruptcy — it might be a smart move for Playboy to actively co-opt the issues raised by the stunt in order to propel itself into the 21st century. As the (fake) guide says, "Somewhere in the countless hours we spent tallying up co-eds and scoring beer pong, we lost track of the most essential element of the Playboy lifestyle: sexual pleasure. Rape is kryptonite to sexual pleasure. The two cannot co-exist…." Precisely.